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Suspected court burglars released on bail

2021-10-06  Maria Amakali

Suspected court burglars released on bail
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Two of the three men who were arrested for allegedly breaking into the Katutura Magistrate’s Court in July have been released on bail.

Magistrate Olivia van der Colff granted bail of N$3 000 each to Edison Witbooi and Raphael Batista after prosecutor Victoria Likius said the State had no objection to it.

The State, however, objected to the granting of bail to Andrew David, who is well-known to the police for committing similar offences.

As a condition for their release on bail, they were warned not to leave the district of Windhoek without the consent of the investigating officer dealing with their case.

Witbooi and Batista were arrested and charged alongside David on two counts of housebreaking with intent to steal, and a count of possession of stolen property, respectively.

The group was arrested on 25 July, following a rigorous search from 24 July when court officials discovered that unknown suspects had entered the courtyard by climbing over the wall, damaging the glass door and gaining access to the building. The suspects further broke into seven offices, where they stole three laptops of magistrates and that of a public prosecutor, as well as one computer monitor and CPU. 

A knife and kettle were found abandoned in the same building’s corridors during investigations. CCTV footage showed how two unknown suspects with balaclavas entered the yard. They used the chairs in the court corridors to climb on and damage the offices’ windows, through which they gained entrance.

Police reports at the time stated that the suspects broke into the court building on 24 July, and returned the following day. 

An operation was carried out, but the suspects could not be traced nor apprehended. However, in the early hours of 25 July, the police, who were still at the scene after a patrol of Windhoek’s streets, saw a suspect on the roof of the courthouse, attempting to flee.

During the accused’s first court appearance, David informed the court that his co-accused, Witbooi and Batista, were only buyers of the goods. 

The group is expected to make a return in court on 18 November after the case was postponed for further police investigations.

2021-10-06  Maria Amakali

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